Tammy Erickson, President of nGenera Innovation Network proclaimed that 2009 will be remembered as the year of “A-ha!”. Her presentation was very much in the spirit of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. Erickson pointed out some problems impacting upon the adoption of enterprise 2.0 and the changes needed to mitigate those problems. She believes that the train is leaving the station for enterprise 2.0 but that the fundamentals need to be addressed.

Problem #1;

  • Old approaches have been mastered
  • Technology enables a very different level of performance
  • Competition will shift the playing field

Erickson believes that Enterprise 2.0 is as game changing as the telex was in days gone by. The twentieth century icons where those who had the ability to master scale and cost. The steel mills, the auto makers. Today’s organizations are simply not optimized for the future. Reason #1 – they’re optimized with;

  • Division of responsibility
  • Specialization
  • Strict accountability – providing excellent control

Going forwards though, enterprise 2.0 mobilizes intelligence;

  • The utilization of complex knowledge
  • Innovation through the contributions of many
  • Harnessing the smallest units of knowledge

Reason #2 – traditional organizations are underpinned by;

  • Loyalty, reciprocated with protection and care
  • Individual autonomy
  • Identification with organizational units and individual managers
  • Based on planning

Whereas new organizations have different assumptions;

  • performance based arrangements
  • collective purpose
  • identity with shared objectives
  • they’re based upon coordination not planning

The ten factors that shift organizations – enables of collaborative capacity.;

  1. Highly engaged, committed participants
  2. Trust-based relationships
  3. Networking opportunities
  4. Selection, promotion and training based on collaboration
  5. Organization philosophy supporting a “community of adults”
  6. Executives who create a “gift culture”
  7. Leaders with both task and relationship management skills
  8. Productive and efficient behaviors and processes
  9. Clearly defined individual roles and responsibilities
  10. Important challenging tasks

Reason #3 – The strategic role. Today the paradigm is

  • This is something we have to do to keep Gen Y happy – the recession put paid to that!
  • It’s extra, nice to have like fitness centers and day care
  • We don’t even know what “it” it

Contrasted with the future organization

  • 2.0 supports a broad range of activities – with clear business objectives
  • Each best achieves through different organizational approaches and supported by different technologies

Driving outcomes through collaborative intents;

  • Connect previously unrelated ideas
  • Access untapped people or expertise
  • Distribute work or risk
  • Co-create
  • Detect emerging patterns or trends
  • Pool judgments
  • Determine group-wide preferences
  • Air and debate multiple views
  • Influence views or norms
  • Coordinate in time and space

Problem #4 – The technology itself. The concerns are;

  • It’s overwhelming – and difficult to harness
  • The solutions are heterogeneous and disconnected
  • Not secure or necessary relevant

The coming realities;

  • Unifying approaches
  • Ways of partitioning and aggregating data
  • Ability to manage relationships

Problem #5 – Engagement

  • Management 101 dictates
  • Directed activities
  • Clear instructions

Participation 2.0 means;

  • Individual discretion
  • Dealing with rich content that flows through infinite links
  • Forming and maintaining complex relationships
  • Having trust, a stake, a voice, an impact and a community bond
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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • While all of the above may be true. I’m not so sure that any of it goes beyond the rhetoric from Tom Peters in the 1980’s about the knowledge work revolution and the information economy. It’s easy to contrast 2.0 with the industrial economy, but most organisations are still stuck there, despite 20 years to figure out that life has moved on.

    If 2.0 offered a way to leap frog cultures from the pre information economy direct to 2.0 then I’d be interested in hearing it but most of the above is the same “Wow it’s gonna be great! You just gotta believe me!” It seems that Tammy has advanced the conversation so I’ll look forwards to seeing how we can build on that momentum.

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